2 years full-time for FdSc (Foundation Degree)
Upon successful completion of this course you'll have the option to join our BSc (Hons) Visual Effects Production Technology and top up to a Level 6 qualification.
Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, Nottingham
UCAS course code:
Entry and admissions criteria:
- A-levels – DDE; or
- BTEC Extended Diploma – MPP; or
- 64 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
- GCSE - English and Maths Grade C / 4
We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.
- This course is not suitable for tier 4 visa applicants.We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.
English language entry requirements
If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.
- For a list of our language, requirements please visit our English language page.
- If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements, please visit our pre-sessional English course page.
Fees and funding:
Visit our fees & funding page for more information.
Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.
We advise you to budget between £50 - £250 for an external hard drive and SD cards. Whilst you will be provided with storage for your work on the servers it is also good practice to back up your digital files to an external source.
Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.
All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.
If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.
Print and copy costs
The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.
How to Apply
This degree is validated by Nottingham Trent University and all applications must be submitted through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
No longer the gloss and polish on a film, game, programme or advert, VFX has become an integral part of the production process for film, television and advertising. Study this visual effects degree and you’ll explore the VFX industry for moving image products whilst developing the skills required of a VFX specialist. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the different areas through studio practice, as well as academic research and study. By the end of the course you’ll have developed a strong portfolio of VFX work, tailored to your own career aspirations.
On this course you’ll be working on industry-standard software, such as NUKE – which has been used throughout the development of award-winning movies like Star Wars and The Avengers.
Teaching and learning experiences will include:
- group tutorials
- academic tutorials
- presentations and pitches
- visiting Industry professionals
- independent study
95% of our degree students would recommend studying at Confetti to others. (National Student Survey 2019)
We give students the opportunity to go on a variety of trips throughout the year. There have been a number of great trips previously, including a visit to the Bournemouth Visual Effects, Animation and Games Festival (BFX) - you can read about the trip here.
What our current students think
Advice from our alumni
"Confetti provide all of the industry-standard software, and help direct you on a career path if you haven’t yet decided. The tutors are very helpful and it is a great atmosphere to learn in."
Depending on the module, you may be assessed through:
- 3D development work
- video sequence production
- design and research tasks
- case studies
- portfolio work
- reports and evaluations
- lab reports
- visual and verbal presentations
A two year Foundation degree is a great choice if you want to have the option to graduate with a Level 5 qualification and start your creative career early. With an accessible UCAS tariff – this type of degree is perfect for you if you prefer a more practical approach to your studies. After completing two years you will graduate with an FdSc/FdA qualification and choose whether you want to continue and enroll on a top up year for a full BSc qualification or whether you would rather stop your education and start your creative career.
Topping up your existing qualification
Each case will be considered individually, but if you have passed an FdSc from Confetti and decided you want to continue your studies, you’re automatically entitled to enter into the 3rd year of the equivalent BSc degree to ‘top up’ to a full honours degree.
What you'll study in year 1
This module introduces you to the assets you’ll be working with in VFX productions. You’ll develop your skills operating a range of digital technologies in the acquisition of video and audio assets for VFX sequences. By understanding the mechanisms and technologies involved in image and data origination, you’ll develop an understanding of the relationship between principal photography and the VFX professional.
This module introduces you to the main principles of creating 3D content and integrating created 3D content with another source (typically a digital film camera) and making it conform or fit into that environment. The module also introduces the important notion of the virtual camera, and how the 3D software camera needs to match and replicate the qualities of the physical or real film camera.
This module develops your skills in compositing when working with 2D Graphics. You’ll be introduced to 2D image basics, including layering, masking, keying, and notions of colour space, project set-ups and flexible reusable templates. You’ll also spend time exploring the history of compositing and its roots. The module also examines different methods by which mattes can be created and how they might be manipulated and used in VFX compositing.
This module examines the art of matte painting and the role of the environment technical director. With the advent of 3D CGI the matte painter’s job has increasingly moved away from creating 2D backdrops of landscape and cityscape to include working with geometry in what is often phrased as 2.5D. You’ll explore painting techniques and their role in creating environments whilst developing skills in photo real paint artistry.
What you'll study in year 2
This module concentrates on the process of achieving an accurate camera solve or matched object geometry from plates shot with moving film cameras. You’ll explore the application of camera movement within an image and the difference between object tracking and camera tracking. You’ll develop skills in the creation of more realistic and professional VFX sequences as well as learning the important process of rig removal.
This module allows you to explore the role of the rigger and the working relationship and interactions with animators and modellers. You’ll learn to design, create, test and maintain character, vehicle, cloth and prop setups working with animators and modellers to meet the technical needs of a project. You’ll also extend and advance your skills in modelling as the module complements and builds on your existing hard surface modelling skills with soft surface modelling aimed at creating organic forms to technical specifications.
In this module you’ll learn about making particle systems, structures, cloth, fluids and crowds move under the forces of physics. Within the VFX industry these are the jobs of an effects animator or effects technical director. You’ll learn to use VFX software to simulate complex behaviours and phenomena (fires, breaking glass, fluids etc.) and be able to understand and communicate using the language of Newtonian mechanics.
During this module you’ll undertake appropriate self-directed projects, working collaboratively on creative work, allowing you to directly apply the knowledge and skills learnt throughout the programme in the context of the workplace. This module aims to develop your overall professionalism and provide you with the knowledge and resources to begin a career in the creative industries.
The nature of creative industries is increasingly defined by freelance and self-employed models of work. Consequently, individuals seeking work in industry need to appreciate the pressures of working on multiple projects to strict deadlines and the subsequent demands this place on time and resources. Similarly, an understanding of professional practice and the legal and economic imperatives in industry is important, as is effective communication, self-efficacy and autonomy. This module aims to develop these skills and knowledge by challenging you to develop a range of self-directed projects.
On this course you'll study in Confetti HQ - our brand new £9.1million digital media hub. You’ll have access to:
- Industry Spec Workstation PCs
- Industry-standard digital film cameras and lights
- Bookable Green Screen studio space
- Professional Studio facilities
Specialist software, including:
- Autodesk Suite (Maya, Motion Builder & Mudbox),
- Nuke, Mari and Modo
- Unity and Unreal
- Adobe Creative Suite,
- Zbrush, Quixel 2,
- Wacom Cintiq 13HD Touch Tablets
Every year we welcome family, friends and industry professionals to watch, listen, test and play the fantastic work of our degree students.
At Confetti, we offer students the chance to ‘Do It For Real’ – get out into real industries and experience working in various roles that take their interest.
Our Talent Development team work closely with Course Leaders to link students with opportunities across the VFX industry, and live briefs – like working on visual effects for a real film as some of our students had a chance to do, gaining them IMDB credits and tonnes of experience.
Experiences like these are what help make our graduates extremely employable - have a read of one of our alumnus’ stories, and how studying at Confetti helped him land a job at the Oscar-winning VFX house Framestore.
Throughout the year, students are invited to attend various talks and events with visiting industry experts. Recently, students were visited by Framestore’s Maxwell Smith who gave an insightful lecture about the VFX industry and how to impress employers within it.
We also hold an annual Industry Week, where guest speakers and mentors from the VFX industry are invited in to talk to students. Our students have the opportunity to learn from people working in the industry right now, and can make invaluable contacts during this week.
Past Industry Week guests have included:
- Julian Foddy - VFX Supervisor at ILM
- Aardman Animations
- Adam Dewhirst – Build Supervisor at Double Negative
Continue your studies
Each case will be considered individually, but upon completion you’re automatically entitled to enter into the 3rd year of Confetti’s BSc (Hons) Visual Effects Production Technology to gain a full BSc qualification.
You can also move straight into your career in a variety of roles within the visual effects industries:
- Roto artist
- 3D artist
- Digital preparation
- Layout artist
- Lighting technical director
- Match move artist
- Matte painter
- Technical director
- VFX supervisor
Previous students are working at companies, such as:
- Double Negative
- Pinewood Studios